Women’s Team Three-Peats at Club Cross Country National Championships
TALLAHASSEE – For the third consecutive year, the women of the B.A.A. High Performance Team have won the USA Track and Field Club Cross Country National Championship.
Leading the B.A.A. in the Women’s Open 6K was Sarah Pagano, who finished in second place with a time of 19:36. Emily Lipari finished fifth overall in 19:37 and Elaina Balouris took seventh in 19:52. Emma Bates placed ninth in 19:59 and Jennifer Rhines placed 21st with a time of 20:30. The team won its third consecutive title with 33 points. The team won in 2014 with 43 points, and in 2015 with 28 points.
The B.A.A. Men’s Masters Team finished second in the 10K with 55 points. It was led in the team competition by Mike Galoob who finished seventh overall in a time of 33:22, Ryan McCalmon who finished 12th in a time of 33:27, and Peter Hammer who finished 14th overall in a time of 33:28. The scoring was rounded out by Aaron Price who finished 20th overall in a time of 33:40 and Kevin O’Neil who finished 24th in 34:02.
In the Men’s Open 10K, Daniel Winn finished eighth in a time of 29:28, Eric Ashe finished 29th overall in 30:12, and Brian Harvey finished 32nd in a time of 30:16. Rounding out the top five were Matt Fischer in 62nd place with 30:52, and Christopher Allen’s 30:56 for 67th place. The team finished fifth overall with 148 points.
The objective of the B.A.A.’s High Performance group of athletes is to support American runners on their way towards making international teams, with the goal of competing at an Olympic and World Championships level. The B.A.A. is sponsored by adidas, and the comprehensive support includes the running club, Team B.A.A., and its events.
The USATF Club Cross Country Championships, held at Apalachee Regional Park, featured the nation’s top running clubs and their fastest runners competing in races of 6 km, 8 km and 10 km. The B.A.A. Women’s Team Title served as the capstone on a strong year of training and racing for the club.
“The USATF Club Cross Country Championships are the culminating event for the club every year,” said B.A.A. Director of Performance Programs Michael Pieroni. “The performances today by the teams and individuals punctuate the year-long effort these athletes put into their training and racing.”
The B.A.A. High Performance Team, coached by Terrence Mahon, prepared for today’s races with several weeks of training in Mammoth Lakes, California. Today with little wind, clear skies, and temperatures in the 40s and 50s, conditions were nearly perfect for the Boston-based runners.
“This is our best performance to date of our three wins at Club Cross,” said High Performance Coach Terrence Mahon. “It’s super exciting to see their training translate into a race result.
“What’s great about Club Cross Country Championships is it’s the one time of the year when these athletes can compete for a team again. It rallies everyone together and today they put their best foot forward.”
Other noteworthy B.A.A. performances today include Peter Hammer’s 14th overall place finish in the Men’s Masters 10K race. The 50-year-old clocked a time of 33:28 which was tops in the 50-54 age group. Heather Cappello finished 18th overall in the Women’s 6K in 20:35, and Margo Malone finished 36th in 21:05. Keven O’Neil’s time of 34:02 was good for third place in the 45-49 age group.
Next up for members of the B.A.A. High Performance Team is the New York Midnight Run on New Year’s Eve (New York, NY on December 31), the Great Edinburgh International Cross Country race (Edinburgh, Scotland on January 7), and USA National Cross Country Championships (Bend, OR on February 4, a selection race for the IAAF Cross Country Championships), and various meets during the indoor track season.